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Recherche Bay sale a win for Tasmania, windfall for owners - Brown.

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Senator Bob Brown Senator for Tasmania

Recherche Bay sale a win for Tasmania, windfall for owners - Brown

Senator Brown, 16th March 2006

"David Vernon's pre-election attack on the Greens over the sale of land at Recherche Bay does not take away from such a wonderful outcome for Tasmania," Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"The talks I had with David's brother Rob were direct and honourable and I will always be grateful to both for leaving the window of opportunity open," Senator Brown said.

"David's advertisement is pretty sad. It is essentially a boon for the pro-logging Labor and Liberal parties. That's democracy. But it doesn't detract from the pride I have in facilitating the saving of Recherche Bay, which was made possible by Dick Smith's generosity.

"The Vernon's land was valued at $250,000. The sale price ended up at $2.5 million. This price hike was essentially because the Labor government allowed the logging road to be built through the adjacent national park. The huge price was to offset that decision by the Bacon government.

"This outcome will bring huge rewards for Tasmania in terms of pride in place, investment and jobs. Recherche Bay is headed for world fame because of that uniquely joyous meeting of the French expeditions and the Tasmanian Aboriginal people," Senator Brown said.

"Premier Jim Bacon revealed that David Vernon was happy to sell the land rather than log it, in 2003. Mr Bacon wrote to the French Ambassador to Australia on 12 August 2003 saying "the opportunity exists for the land involved to be purchased by the state and to be reserved..."

When Mr Lennon failed to follow up this opportunity, I did so with Dick Smith's help. The contention that the consequent controversy forced David Vernon's hand is clearly false," Senator Brown said.

Further information: Prue Cameron 0408 473 379 Created by Administration Last modified 16-03-2006 05:57 PM